Jun 22, 2013
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Broke Gadabout.

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  • About

    Broke Gadabout.
    Headphone Inventory:
    Sennheiser HD800:
    + Forward & revealing mid-range & vocals.
    + Top tier clarity/detail retrieval.
    + Widest soundstage. Though over-hyped & not quite out of head experience type.
    - Recessed/diffused/veiled/thin body of music without a top of the line amp & DAC
    - Bass & dynamics only really appear with proper amping.
    - Slight edge & tiniest bit of sibilance to the treble.


    Stax L700
    + The best separation I've heard from a headphone.
    + Vocals are much more distinctively separated from the music vs the HD800/HEK.
    + Resolution/small details are better heard than the HD800.
    + Feels less prone to sibilance than the HD800.
    +/- Soundstage is average. Definitely a more intimate sound presentation.
    - Bass & dynamics are lacking for my tastes.
    - Slightly overall thin sound signature.

    Hifiman HE-1000 V1
    + Very solid soundstage. Just behind the HD800 of all the headphones I heard. Without first doing A/B tests between both, I could have sworn the HEK was almost just as wide.
    + Very thick, weighty, musical & full sounding sound signature. Makes the HD800 kinda sound thin in comparison.
    + Incredibly dynamic & separated. Maybe the best I heard. Only again, 2nd to the HD800.
    + The resolution, fullness, dynamics & soundstage are a nice improvement over the HEX v2.
    +/- Sub-bass is good, but not amazing. Nothing spectacular about it like with the Fostex TH-900.
    - There is a softness & lack of energy/bite to the sound. Only noticeable when compared with a high energy headphone, like the HD800.
    - Midrange is good, but ever so slightly distant/diffuse. Nowhere close to being called V-shaped, just slightly behind other cans that have prominent mids.
    +/- the slight softness can be remedied quite a bit with silver headphone cables & V2 earpads.
    +/- The softness can also play as a strength because these cans are never fatiguing. Though, electronic music does lack the energy.
    +/- The resolution/treble might not be as detailed as the HD800. Could be from the thick bass drowning out some of the smaller treble details.

    Hifiman HE-X V2
    + Very good soundstage, nearly comparable to the HD800.
    + Solid sub-bass extension.
    + Neutral sound without sounding thin or lacking in any frequency.
    - Mids maybe not as lush & energetic as the LCD-2 & HD800.
    - Resolution is quite not on par with something like HD800 or the HEK.
    - Doesn't scale with higher end equipment.

    Hifiman HE-6 (4 screw)
    + Wide spacious soundstage, though not as wide as the HE-1000
    - Bright sound signature
    - Needs a power amp or a powerful headphone amp to drive them properly.
    - Thin sounding compared to the 6 screw

    Hifiman HE-6 (6 screw)
    + Warmer sounding with more mid/bass presence than the 4 screw.
    + Not as bright or sibilant either.
    - Smaller more intimate soundstage & separation overall compared to the 4 screw.
    - Seems a trifle harder to drive than the 4 screw version

    Fostex TH-900:
    + Insane sub bass!
    + Clear clean vocals.
    + Spacious sound, especially for a closed back.
    - Noticeably recessed mids, makes the music sound hollow-ish.
    - Vocals & music sounds "small" compared to the HD800, LCD2, HEK etc...
    - Very sibilant.
    - Not true closed back, leaks sound.

    ZMF Blackwoods:
    +/- Good solid sub-bass extension, but not as good as the TH-900 or JVC DX-1000
    + Actually closed back that doesn't leak sound!
    - Small enclosed soundstage.
    - Reminds me of a warmer closed version of a HD600. Doesn't do any one thing spectacular.

    JVC DX1000:
    + Fairly open sounding & spacious sounding for a closed back.
    + Very good sub-bass, somewhere in between the Fostex TH-900 & the Beyerdynamics T1.
    + Similar sound signature to Beyer T1 without being as bright.
    - Not true closed back, leaks sound.
    - Not quite on the level of HD800 in terms of resolution.
    - Mids sounds off, a tad recessed.

    JVC SZ2000:
    + Best sub-bass on the planet!
    +/- Soundwaves form sub-bass hit so hard that it literally can leave bruises inside ear canal!
    - Massively veiled. Most veiled headphone I've ever heard in my life.
    - Incredibly low resolution sounding.
    - Mids & treble are non-existent.

    Audeze LCD-2 Rev.1:
    + Top tier midbass quality & quantity.
    + Thicker sound makes for excellent instrumental imaging, Bests the HD800 a lot of the time
    + Good detail retrieval, though not on par with the HD800 & the T1.
    - Small-ish soundstage, vocals feel congested.
    - Definitely sounds veiled & not as open.

    Beyerdynamics Tesla T1:
    + Excellent top tier imaging.
    + Sub-bass is surprisingly very good. Better physical rumble than either the HD800 or the
    + Emphasized treble.
    - Emphasized treble.
    + Fun sounding & musical with the right combo.
    - Needs a tube amps & preferably warm sounding tubes .
    - Too bright at times with the wrong gear & can sound very metallic & painfully sibilant if so.

    Sennheiser HD600:
    + Very good imaging.
    + Overall good in every area, though not spectacular at any one thing.
    - Veiled sound
    - Absolutely needs an amp to work.
    - Average soundstage

    AKG K-712:
    +/- Modestly wide soundstage.
    + Fairly good detail & resolution.
    + Mid-bass is adequate.
    - No sub-bass extension.
    - Tad bright.

    Philips Fidelio X1
    + Very impressive wide soundstage
    + Great bass quantity, lots of bass.
    + Fun & musical
    - Bass quantity bleeds into the midrange/vocals & overpowers it at times.
    Headphone Amp Inventory:

    Eddie Current Super 7:
    + Ethereal Sounding!
    + Very Airy & super dynamic.
    + Good slam/impact.
    + Incredibly low noise floor for a tube amp!
    +/- Warm signature, but never gooey or ever too overtly warm sounding.
    - Not the last word in bass authority.
    - Not the widest sounding tube amp I've heard.

    Stax SRM-007tII:

    Violectric V281:
    + Very powerful & can easily handle planar headphones.
    +/- Very smooth & warm sound signature without making things too overtly warm or smooth.
    - Soundstage is not very wide in comparison to the tube amps I've heard. Definitely on the intimate side in comparison to them.
    - Maybe a little congested in the layering compared again to the better tube amps I had.

    Woo Audio WA2:
    + Spacious soundstage.
    + Excellent dynamics, imaging & holographic sound.
    + Adds a lot of bass!
    + Adds body to the music.
    +/- Adds noticeable warmth to the sound signature.
    - Stock tubes are lousy.

    Violetric V200:
    + Smooth, neutral & unoffensive.
    + Add body to the bass & mid-range
    + Multiple gain options for low & high sensitivity headphones.
    - Small soundstage.
    - Not a lot of bass extension.
    - Doesn't offer any dynamics or layering
    - Lacking in dynamic, detail & resolution.

    Matrix M-Stage:
    + Excellent budget amp.
    + Decent resolution.
    + Decent bass & treble extension .
    - Slightly harsh sounding.
    - A bit thin in the midrange.

    iFi Micro iDSD:
    + Smooth.
    + Punchy.
    ~ More towards analytical/harsh.
    - A bit congested sounding.

    Headroom Desktop Amplifier:
    ~ Neutral.
    ~ Slightly bright.
    + Good pair with bass heavy headphones.
    ~ More towards cold & analytical.
    - Doesn't pair with bright or analytical headphones.

    Bottlehead Crack (stock):
    ~ Very Warm.
    + Spacious, wide & open sound.
    - Lack of body to the music.
    - Doesn't pair well with bass or low impedance heavy headphones.
    ~ Stock tubes not very good & do the least with the amp.

    Schiit Asgard 2:
    + Drives harder to drive headphones easily.
    ~ Slightly warm, but still can be considered bright.
    - Slightly congested sound for higher end headphones.
    Source Inventory:
    Schiit Yggdrasil v1
    Sonic Frontiers SFD2 MkII SE+
    Sonic Frontiers SFD 1 MkII
    Schiit Gungnir Multibit
    PS Audio Reference Link LS
    Parasound D/AC 1500
    iFi Micro iDSD
    Music Preferences:
    Mostly everything.
    Rock, punk (not pop punk), R&B, funk, electric, '80s new wave, '80s & '90s Hip-Hop (not the new stuff).

    Very little country, jazz, acoustics & classical.
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